Fish stalker in a green forest

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I made an afternoon trip to the Ridgefield NWR, June 4, 2015, and actually observed a lot of neat wildlife, from Minks to Kingfishers to Bald Eagles.  Of course, observing them doesn’t come close to mean getting a picture of them.  The weather was harsh sun and the sun was right square overhead–exactly where I don’t want it.  Overhead sun typically casts unwanted shadows on subjects especially around their eyes.  In this lighting situation, I either hope a bird out in bright sun will move its head at the correct angle to mitigate the unwanted shadow effects, or, I look for subjects that are in the shade, which of course, brings up additional photographic challenges.

For today’s image, I was driving through the Ash tree forest and heard a Belted Kingfisher.  The water runs parallel to the road so I followed the bird a few hundred feet in my truck as it landed on several perches.  It finally landed on a perch maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road (I was shocked).  But not only was the wind causing the perch to sway, there was 4-5 foot high grass swaying back and forth in front of my lens.  Also, the bird was looking away from me much of the time because she had her back to me.  I took about 60 shots in just over a minute out of my passenger side window hoping that a few frames might not have the blurry grass effect. About a half dozen were mostly free of blurry grass but the bird wasn’t looking the right direction in many of those.  I chose today’s image because she had turned her head toward me.  I lightened up the eye and added a catch light, plus worked on minimizing some of the shadows on her back.  I was happy with it and hope you like it, too!   BEST VIEWED LARGE!

Canon 7D Mark II, 1/2000, f4, ISO 400, 500mm, 12:41 p.m.

Posted in

I made an afternoon trip to the Ridgefield NWR, June 4, 2015, and actually observed a lot of neat wildlife, from Minks to Kingfishers to Bald Eagles.  Of course, observing them doesn’t come close to mean getting a picture of them.  The weather was harsh sun and the sun was right square overhead–exactly where I don’t want it.  Overhead sun typically casts unwanted shadows on subjects especially around their eyes.  In this lighting situation, I either hope a bird out in bright sun will move its head at the correct angle to mitigate the unwanted shadow effects, or, I look for subjects that are in the shade, which of course, brings up additional photographic challenges.

For today’s image, I was driving through the Ash tree forest and heard a Belted Kingfisher.  The water runs parallel to the road so I followed the bird a few hundred feet in my truck as it landed on several perches.  It finally landed on a perch maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road (I was shocked).  But not only was the wind causing the perch to sway, there was 4-5 foot high grass swaying back and forth in front of my lens.  Also, the bird was looking away from me much of the time because she had her back to me.  I took about 60 shots in just over a minute out of my passenger side window hoping that a few frames might not have the blurry grass effect. About a half dozen were mostly free of blurry grass but the bird wasn’t looking the right direction in many of those.  I chose today’s image because she had turned her head toward me.  I lightened up the eye and added a catch light, plus worked on minimizing some of the shadows on her back.  I was happy with it and hope you like it, too!   BEST VIEWED LARGE!

Canon 7D Mark II, 1/2000, f4, ISO 400, 500mm, 12:41 p.m.

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My Gear:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV & Grip
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EF 500mm f4L IS II
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f4L
  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8
  • Canon 1.4X III Extender
  • Canon 2x III Extender
  • Canon 580EX Flash
  • Zoom H1 Recorder
  • Better Beamer
  • Manfrotto tripod/monopod
  • Manfrotto Gimbal Head
  • Sandisk Compact Flash Cards
  • The Molar Bean Bag by Vertex
  • Joby Gorillapod Focus & Ballhead
  • Canon EG200 Backpack
  • Storm Jacket Camera Cover
  • Kinesis Safari Sack
  • Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition

Software:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic
  • Nik Color EFEX Pro 4
  • Nik Sharpener 3
  • Nik Dfine 2.0
  • Nik Viveza 2
  • Nik HDR Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Analog Efex Pro